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BEWARE: Z-flesh

WHO: Z-flesh on deviantart

WHERE: http://z-flesh.deviantart.com/

WHAT: A digital icon commission paid via paypal.

WHEN: January 4th 2017

EXPLAIN: So I had posted a journal on deviantart asking if anybody could make me an icon for $1 or so I could use on tumblr of a video game character I really like. The game is somewhat unknown, so I cant find any free to use icons and I wouldn't feel right using somebodies artwork without asking, not that I could even find fanart of them.
Z-flesh had commented saying they were willing to do it. After showing me examples we agreed on the price of $1.50 for the icon and they had noted me with the email. Fast forward to January 24th. I have gotten no word at all about the progress of my icon and I was getting a bit worried. So I noted Z-flesh and was told they have a messy sketch done and thats it. They made the excuse that they "lost the note" for why they never contacted me but deviantart has a feature where you can star important notes, and I gently told them to perhaps do so incase it happens again. I also asked to see said sketch, and they never replied to me.
I checked their "who I owe" journal and found I was not on it. It is now March 3rd and I decided to contact them again and they, once again, used they excuse that they couldn't find me (despite me telling them to star my note). They said its finished and that they'll post it when they get home from school, but I'm a bit skeptical and feel that they'll 'forget' to do it again.
I will update if they actually post it or not, but either way, very unprofessional. I feel it is not my duty as the buyer to continue contacting and hassling them to finish my art, and they should of taken steps to finish it, let alone remember who I am. Even if they do post the icon, i'm leaving this up to warn others. I also feel the need to add, in the time span they were suppose to be doing my art (and owed nobody else) They had posted multiple ych's and accepted other commissions.

NOTE: My deviantart is tiny-forest-prince. So that is me.
Them offering to do the work and providing examples

Them sending me their email and me confirming I sent it.

Me asking for an update and them just...never replying.

Their to do list, which does not have me on it.

me messaging them today (March 3rd) and asking if it was done, and them telling me it is but 'wont be uploading it today'

The suspicious amount of hidden comments on their gallery (just extra. Makes me suspect somebody else perhaps didn't get their art)

even more hidden comments on their commission journal

take it as you will. I'm just not very happy about this.

EDIT: so they posted the commission...After all that time...and after me giving them a link to what the character looks like AND giving extra info on how i want them to look...they managed to draw the complete wrong character from a different game in the franchise... i'm a bit exhausted.

EDIT2: So after being told I should, I made myself ask them to redraw it or give me a refund.
me doing so with help of a template I was given

so lets see where this goes I suppose. I'll update when they reply. if they even do.

EDIT 3: so they've replied with this and claim the character they drew is the one I wanted... now I just feel like I'm being picky. I mean.. to me, as an avid lover of the video game and it being my favourite game, It looks nothing like the character. I cant tell if its just me being overly precise and picky or if it really doesn't look right. I'd appreciate some help. This is the character I wanted (specifically asked for them to have a pony tail or hair bun due to his long hair) Close up of his face/hair and this is what they drew Am I being picky or does it really look nothing like what I asked for? to me it looks more like the MC of the third game, which is this guy. Either way, they still didn't even offer to re-draw or edit it, just said it was what I asked for.

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Apr. 6th, 2017 09:24 pm (UTC)
I have a lot of mixed feelings about this one; while I agree on the general sentiment of the wait and shoddy communication being completely unacceptable, I feel like the 'wrong character' part is a lot shakier.

When looking at the commission art as compared to the two characters in question (hero of Fable 2 and hero of Fable 3), the commission looks a LOT more like the requested character; the character's bangs are long, symmetrical, the eyes are the correct color. Things like the omission of the requested ponytail is obviously an issue, but that part could be fixed up easily enough. It... it really doesn't look like the Fable 3 character at all, from hairstyle to eye color, I think the only way anyone would think that would be based on them putting Fable 3 in the description, which could have easily been them misremembering which Fable game they'd played back in the day when they were younger (it's been quite a while, hasn't it? I never played those games but I think it's been at least a few years since Fable 3 came out, and the artist is 17 now so they were probably a kid at the time).

I think this is a bit more of a matter of expecting a better likeness than the artist could provide at their skill level and with the restrictions of headshot-only (which isn't to disparage the artist, only to say they probably haven't gotten to the point where they're really strong on specific likeness). I'm not saying that $1.50 means the commission doesn't matter, because it does, but it also tends to correlate with a lower level of artist skill and I think in this case that's sort of come around to bite the commissioner in the ass in terms of the character being super recognizable.

I know a lot has been said about 'the artist is lying, they admitted to drawing the wrong one in the comment but then claimed that Sparrow is who they drew in the note!' but I think that's honestly more of a matter of miscommunication than anything. The comment doesn't specify the characters visually, and the artist may have taken the commissioner's word for it that they messed up; in the note they're actually provided with a visual reminder of who Sparrow is, and had the chance to properly realize 'but that IS who I drew'.

Again, I think the communication and delay issues make the beware completely justified, but I think that the 'which character is it' part was a lot shakier and REALLY don't like that the commissioner didn't bother addressing that before posting this, anxiety or no anxiety. I appreciate that the mods required that part to be addressed in order to keep it in the complaint.

Probably wouldn't commission this artist, DEFINITELY wouldn't accept a job from this commissioner.
Apr. 6th, 2017 09:49 pm (UTC)
Now that you mention it, I agree that the icon is likely supposed to be the character that OP asked for. Perhaps his ponytail is simply supposed to be behind his head, as it would be in perspective.

OP, this artist still screwed up with the whole process leading to the artwork as far as the long wait and lack of communication go, but I do think this artwork is as good as this artist can do and they tried to match your description as best they could. It's still worth the beware to mention their unprofessional business practices.

I hope this isn't out of line but in future, paying something more like $10+ for an icon will likely net you a better experience (this is what I tend to see icons go for anyway.)
Apr. 6th, 2017 11:03 pm (UTC)
Personally I think the artist could of done a bit better to make the likelyness match better (make the bangs morecorrect, the eye colour is way off, actually show the ponytail as requested etc) but I do agree more or less. this beware wasn't even about the art. I never even wanted to ask them to re-do it. But I was told I had too, so I did. The beware was originally made about their lack of communication.
Apr. 6th, 2017 11:01 pm (UTC)
I actually agree with you honestly. The original beware isn't about the character, its about the communication. I was told though I had to ask them to re-draw or fix it when I honestly didn't even want too, so I sorta just did what I was told.

People seem to forget the beware WAS about communication. Thats the sole main focus on it. Yeah, im disappointed how it turned out, and to me,who loves the game, it looks nothing like the character. But to somebody who doesn't know and love the game to me im sure the could see how it looks alike.

all in all. its just a 'well shit' situation. I put the beware out to show others to just be wary since this artist has little to no communication skills and aren't willing to listen to what is asked of them and has poor organization skills. Thats all.
Apr. 7th, 2017 12:45 am (UTC)
Okay, well I'm glad that you agree this is primarily about the communication and wait time issues, it seems like the character likeness came up after the fact and perhaps became a bit too much of a focus in the edits and comments until that's the impression that readers get left with-- like I said, the communication issues are definitely something that people should consider, so it's good to have that part out there.

I guess my recommendation would definitely be to look over the gallery of the artist really carefully when doing a commission, and try to consider how well they're going to be able to handle your subject matter; I know in this case they came to you, but I know you probably gave them at least a cursory look before agreeing. Idk how much they have in the way of headshot work, but that can definitely be tricky since a lot of times it's the outfit that can make a character really recognizable unless the person is A+ at faces. If me not being intimately familiar with the character is gonna be the difference between 'that looks like Sparrow' and 'that doesn't look like Sparrow', then it might be the same situation on the part of the artist.

Either way, I hope that you guys can get this resolved properly, and better luck in the future!


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